Patricia Bonilla


BA, Lake Forest College / MA, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary / MPhil, Drew University / Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Present)

Denomination: United Methodist

Specific Field: Christian Education


Patricia Bonilla is the daughter of Mexican migrants. Growing up bilingual and bicultural, she experienced the challenges as well as the creative possibilities of navigating multilingual and multiethnic spaces. Patricia has worked in congregational ministry since 2005 as well as community and youth development, focusing on fostering creative and liberatory educational spaces for Latine youth. She has been a mentor and program coordinator with the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy since 2008. As an ordained clergy with the United Methodist Church, she has also worked to foster community engagement, leadership, and faith development in faith communities. As a practical theologian, she is acutely aware of the political, epistemological, and cultural implications of education, specifically educating toward liberation and conscientization. Her research interests bring into dialogue and practice critical pedagogies, decolonial theory, and religious education with special attention to engaging with epistemologies of the South and pluriversal ecologies of knowledge. She is interested in the “how to” of educating holistically. As a doctoral student, she researches the practices and theories of faith formation and the generative possibilities of world-building otherwise, particularly from the experiences of minoritized and marginalized racial/ethnic communities.